Arsenal star Abou Diaby today secured the first of 60,000 seats to be installed at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, the Gunners new home from August this year.

Placing the first seat onto the supporting steel framework, the French midfielder started the installation process of the 60,000 seats, which have actually been named the 'Arsenal Seat' and all of which will be upholstered - a first for football stadia in the UK.

Diaby said: "It's great to be at the stadium today and be the person who actually fixes the first seat at this fantastic stadium. It is exciting to think that in a few months time one of our supporters will be sitting here watching the team play. It's the first time I've been to Emirates Stadium and it is amazing - I really can't wait to play here next season."

Arsenal Managing Director Keith Edelman said: "I'm delighted to be here today to see the first seat going into the stadium - we are starting to reach the final stages of construction now and seeing the seats going in is extremely exciting. The 'Arsenal Seat' will guarantee that every supporter will enjoy an improved comfort level from what they currently experience at Highbury - we really wanted to provide our supporters with the very best facilities possible at our new football home."

Of 60,000 seats at Emirates Stadium under 500 remain on general sale, every one a place in the exclusive Club Level. Club Level, which comprises 6,700 premium seats in a separate tier encircling Emirates Stadium at Directors' Box level, provides supporters with quality hospitality benefits and some of the best sight lines in the arena.

The first batch of 60,000 seats has been flown in by Emirates SkyCargo from Malaysia to the UK, via the carrier's global hub in Dubai. Installation will commence with all eight rows of the Club Level tier in the North Stand. The seats will be delivered in weekly batches of 4000 until completion.

After an extensive research programme, the revolutionary 'Arsenal Seat' has been designed to deliver a range of features to enhance the match day experience for spectators and will also provide Arsenal with a product which complements the new world class Emirates Stadium.

Made by Ferco Seating at their factory in Malaysia, the seat has integrally fitted pads, as well as a higher back and a larger seat area than in any other stadium in the UK, moving spectator comfort to the forefront of seat design.

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13 Mar 2006